Thursday, March 08, 2012

During Official Visit, First Lady Michelle Obama Hosts Special Event For Mrs. Samantha Cameron

Mrs. Obama will combine State Dinner preview with mentoring event, too; young women from UK school will visit the White House...
When British Prime Minister David Cameron pays an Official Visit to President Obama on March 13th and 14th at the White House, First Lady Michelle Obama will be hosting her own event for Mrs. Samantha Cameron, spotlighting the Let's Move! campaign and the United Kingdom's upcoming role as host of the Summer Olympics.  The Official Visit includes a State Dinner on the 14th, and Mrs. Obama will also host a special event for young women that will do double duty as a preview of the evening. (Above: Mrs. Obama and Mrs. Cameron having tea in the Camerons' private residence at Downing Street in May of 2011)

On Tuesday, March 13th, Mrs. Obama has invited Mrs. Cameron to join her for an Olympics-themed afternoon event with DC-area school children, which will be held at American University.  Activities for the "mini-Olympics competition" will be led by real, liveOlympians and Paralympians, including Dominique Dawes, co-chair of the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition; Kortney Clemons, April Holmes, Lisa Leslie, Lori Ann Lindsey, Dan O’Brien, Becky Sauerbrunn and David Wagner. Fifth graders from MacFarland Middle School in Washington, D.C.; Manor View Elementary School in Maryland, and Arlington Science Focus School in Virginia have been invited to participate in the 4:15 PM event.

In the afternoon on March 14th, during a 2:00 PM event in the State Dining Room, Mrs. Obama will welcome young women from the United States and United Kingdom to "speak about the importance of this Official Visit," the East Wing said.

Mrs. Obama will deliver introductory remarks, and she'll be joined by Brooke Anderson, National Security Staff Chief of Staff, who will discuss diplomacy and the role of the President and First Lady. Executive Chef Cris Comerford will also speak at the event, and preview the State Dinner menu.  Table settings and entertainment will also be announced.  Young women from Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School in the UK, Elizabeth Seton High School in Maryland, and National Cathedral School in Washington, D.C. have been invited to participate.  Some students from Elizabeth Garret Anderson (EGA), a secondary school for girls in North London, will be at the White House, according to the East Wing.

The school "has a special history with Mrs. Obama," the East Wing said. In April of 2009, when Mrs. Obama accompanied the President to London on their first official international trip together, she paid a surprise visit to EGA.

"During this poignant visit, Mrs. Obama praised the girls for their dedication to education and leadership in their communities and encouraged them to reach for their dreams," the East Wing said. "In February 2010, the First Lady invited a group of London students to the White House – including one from EGA – who won a U.S. Embassy Black History Month essay contest. Mrs. Obama also spoke to EGA students at the University of Oxford in May 2011, as part of a day-long “college immersion” visit, and encouraged them to continue working towards their goals."

The menu...
The State Dinner menu for the Prime Minster and Mrs. Cameron will be designed around the very early Spring bounty from the First Lady's 1,500 square-foot Kitchen Garden on the South Lawn, which is still actively growing, thanks to the addition of protective hoop houses.

"We just harvested incredible spinach, kale, chard, some amazing pak choi, I have the most amazing mustard greens ever over the last few weeks," Senior Policy Advisor for Healthy Food Initiatives Sam Kass said on Monday. "We have broccoli that's just about to be taken out, collard greens, and lots of lettuce. Tons of lettuce."

The Cameron State Dinner is the sixth of the Administration.  Links to all State Dinner menus.

The Arrival Ceremony...
On Wednesday morning, the President and Mrs. Obama will welcome the Prime Minister and Mrs. Cameron with an elaborate South Lawn Arrival Ceremony, complete with color guards and a troop review. The event will be livestreamed at Wh.gov/live. Twitter users can follow along, too, with the hashtag #WHtweetup.

Mrs. Obama has hosted two other State Visit outings for visiting spouses: In October of 2011, when South Korea's President Lee Myung-bak visited President Obama, Mrs. Obama escorted First Lady Kim Yoon-ok to Annandale High School in Northern Virginia to visit with students and watch artistic performances. In May of 2010, when Mexico's President Felipe Calderón visited President Obama, Mrs. Obama escorted Mrs. Margarita Zavala (who does not use the title "First Lady") to New Hampshire Estates Elementary School in Silver Spring, Maryland. The two Presidential spouses spotlighted the Let's Move! campaign, running around the school gym with students and enjoying a healthy "family-style" lunch with pre-schoolers.

*Photo by Lawrence Jackson/White House, taken in London, England, on May 24, 2011.